March 17, 2013 § Leave a Comment
First of all, I must say I haven’t studied a single French literature in depth in my life, but I somehow have got into French literature. Probably, it’s because of the theme, tone ant atmosphere that are often dark, absurd… Obviously, I’m aware that not all of the French literature are like that, but the ones I like are quite dark and the theme is pretty deep.
My favourite author is Albert Camus. “The Stranger” is one of my favourite books ever.
The other day, I’ve discovered the poetry that is in a way romantic (very typical stereotype of France) yet quite dark.
Paul Eluard is actually one of my favourite poet. I do read poetry in my first language, Japanese, never actually enjoyed reading any in other languages since the translation can be weiredly phrased, but I found a good website for reading French poetry in Japanese so I’m quite happy about it.
Le front aux vitres : Paul Eluard
Le front aux vitres comme font les veilleurs de chagrin
Ciel dont j’ai depasse la nuit
Plaines toutes petites dans mes mains ouvertes
Dans leur double horizon inerte indifferent
Le front aux vitres comme font les veilleurs de chagrin
Je te cherche par dela l’attente
Par dela moi meme
Et je ne sais plus tant je t’aime
Lequel de nous deux est absent.
February 12, 2013 § Leave a Comment
It’s Pancake day today also known as Shrove Tuesday. It sounds unfamiliar to a Japanese person since I’m not Christian (although I attended a Catholic school). To expain briefly, today is the first day of Lent.
Interestingly, I met up with my Japanese friends lastnight to cook and eat Okonomiyaki together. Okonomiyaki is a Japanese dish, which is a savory pancake that contains some shredded cabage, sometimes meat and seafood and lots of things.
It always makes me doubt to cook proper Japanese food in England due to the lack of ingredients but it turned out to be a very delicious Okonomiyaki so we were all happy.
February 7, 2013 § Leave a Comment
It was my friend’s birthday the other day. We went to a very cosy and nice Indonesian restaurant in town.
Although I had never got to eat any Indonesian food before, I was pretty sure that it would be amazing, and obviously the food served did not live up to my expectation!
I took those pictures with the camera my parents sent to me as a birthday gift.
Food always makes me happy.
January 14, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Sinocentrism – The root of all evil.
You might thought “Wow, that’s a bit too far”, but the reason why I write about China today is because of the land disputes that is recently creating problems.
China, as you can imagine, it is a big country, but it has disputes about territory not only with Japan but also with Philipine, Vietnam, Mongolia, India and Tibet. Some people argue that Taiwan and China have deep territory issues too. Opinion poll suggests that a lot of Taiwanese people don’t consider themself as Chinese whereas China insists that Taiwan is a part of China.
The term “Sinocentrism” derives from the ideas of “China is the root of everything” and “The centre of the world is China”. This is the reason why China often refers Japan as “小日本” which literally means “small Japan”. It is true that 1000 years ago China was quite developed compared to other Asian countries such as Korea and Japan. In early history of Japan, Japanese people visited China to learn literature and skills. Obviously this was ages ago, and Japan created its own culture after that.
The problem is that this Sinocentrism is still deeply embedded in Chinese people. In a way, they are “arrogant” in the sense that they think they are the best. Obviously, not everyone is like that, especially those Chinese people who are educated outside of China often have a different perspective than the ordinary Chinese people living in China.
To make matters worse, the (partially) Communist government that suppresses Chinese populations, for example, censorship towards newspaper companies that have recently been revealed and created demos in China. This means that there is no freedom of speech and those people who read the newspapers are unconsciously forced to believe what the government thinks and what the government wants the citizens to think. It can be said as brainwashing. A friend of mine from China had a personal blog back in China, he wrote some critiques of China and because of it his blog was banned. Chinese government strictly checks websites in order to delete anything that is inconvenient to them. This is the reason why still Chinese people believe that China is everything and all, which contributes to “Sinocentrism”.
China is these days creating troubles within Asia and possibly involving the USA in some extent. China wants to expand its territory in South China Sea and East China Sea. There are lots of little islands that are not Chinese territory and even never belonged to China. Arunachal (India), Scarborough Shoal (Philipine) and Senkaku islands (Japan) are the examples. Interestingly, China has never actually claimed the lands before. As explained by the newly created map that they published recently, they try to draw a map with expanded area for China. (See http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/international/us-says-does-not-endorse-new-china-map-in-its-passport/article4139544.ece).
There is a clear intention behind it. China is trying to obtain natural resources such as oil that seem to be there in those dispute lands. There is another insight that China is now actually willing to compete with the USA and if China could get those lands on South China Sea and East China Sea, it would be easier for China to get to the USA. This is the reason why China has recently started to intrude other Asian countries with the use of force.
Personally, I think this matter should be solved peacefully although China is a little stubborn. The best way I can suggest is that those Asian countries that suffer from China should unite not in the sense of military but in the sense that they can protest against China and speak loud to non-Asian countries. Furthermore, probably the International Court could solve the disputes or at least could gather facts and claims objectively.